F R E S H F L A W L E S S & F I R S T C L A S S
W I T H P H I L I P C A R R
Creating an unforgettable event is about weaving together style, story and sensory elements to create a multi layered, one of a kind, theatrical experience. We caught up with wedding style virtuoso and maestro of magic, event architect Philip Carr.
Philip Carr is one of Australia’s leading event architects and stylists. His name has become synonymous not only with extraordinary style, but with the ability to completely transform ordinary spaces into extraordinary environments, thus turning his clients’ fantasies into breathtaking realities. Born and raised in South Africa, Philip discovered his talent when he began helping his mother with the catering and setup of her events. Little did he know that from humble beginnings, his reputation would grow rapidly, leading him to establish Philip Carr & Associates in 1986 and eventually to become the leading event organiser in South Africa. In 1998, he transported his business and creative flair to Australia. He has been the man behind premier events and boasts clientele including President Clinton, President Bush Senior and Princess Mary of Denmark.
Philip’s philosophy is not only to create long lasting memories for his clients, but also to provide their guests with an unforgettable experience. His signature style thrives on deconstruction: mixing formal with informal. Each and every aspect that guests encounter is thought through on all levels, From the overall event styling to the tantalising culinary combinations. “The most important thing is to understand how guests will relate to the space: what they will see, hear, smell, touch and taste at each stage. Ultimately, it is these elements combined that make people feel fantastic!” Layering, innovation and attention to detail is what differentiates a Philip Carr event, and his reputation as a passionate event perfectionist (albeit with a solid dose of creative eccentricity) has become legendary.
When it comes to creating unique and memorable weddings, Philip is driven by originality. “Social media seems to steer everyone in the same direction,” he notes. “Clients don’t come to us because they want the same thing as everybody else.” Indeed, his events are renowned for their innovation and exquisite bespoke touches.
So, how does one go about crafting a meaningful, personalised event when constantly bombarded with imagery of what other people are doing? “I need to meet with my client and get to know them first,” he explains. “In a way, it’s about stripping away everything and finding what their real dream is: what has meaning for them. Each couple has their unique DNA and this needs to be translated into a event so it becomes theirs.”
That said, he admits he has a flair for the dramatic and loves to incorporate an element of the unexpected into his events, which are renowned for their exquisite ebb and flow. “It’s important not to show your guests everything straight away, but rather let things unfold gradually. Whether that means the story progresses from room to room, or the lighting changes, or other unexpected elements come into play. I always love to keep a surprise for the moment that guests think it’s all over. Whether it’s late night munchies, an unexpected treat or croissants, jam and newspapers to take home at the end of the night so they can have a relaxing morning, if you stay one step ahead of your guests, and anticipate what they may want at any given time, you’ll be creating a memorable event.”
1. Find your own style, not what is being dictated to you by social media. Don’t be afraid to be inspired, but try to adapt it to your personality
2. Invest in a professional so you’re not micro-managing your own event on the day, but rather enjoying the wedding experience and the things that make it special for you
3. Give your event its own twist
that’s reflective of you
4. Don’t show people everything you’ve thought of
5. Quality is imperative, but that doesn’t necessarily mean expense. Simple things at the right time can be incredibly luxurious